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No oil shortage, OPEC says

Feb. 28, 2011 at 9:11 AM   |   Comments

DOHA, Qatar, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- There is no justification for the spike in crude oil prices and supplies are adequate despite disruptions in Libya, the Qatari oil minister said.

Oil and gasoline prices skyrocketed to two-year highs as oil production from Libya was shuttered because of ongoing political unrest.

Officials from Saudi Arabia said last week that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries wouldn't permit any shortages.

Europe gets a significant portion of its oil supplies from Libya, one of the largest crude oil producers in Africa, and officials in Riyadh told Bloomberg News on condition of anonymity that supplies could be rerouted to cope with the Libyan disruption.

Qatari Oil Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada said OPEC could make up for the shortages, stressing high energy prices weren't justified.

"We think there is no shortage of supply," he was quoted as saying. "OPEC and others outside OPEC can make up for the loss of Libyan production."

Libya is the fourth-largest oil producer in the OPEC cartel.

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